A recent study has shown that a common antibiotic may be helpful in reducing the painful symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome. For more information on this medical development and what it could mean for your health, keep reading after the jump.

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In a potentially exciting development, a recent study has shown that an antibiotic commonly used to treat traveler’s diarrhea has shown to have a significant effect on improving the symptoms of IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is considered to be a “functional” gastrological condition, meaning that symptoms are not considered to be severe enough to interfere with a person’s life. They can, however, be extremely painful at times and the condition itself has no known cause and can be very difficult to treat. Symptoms often include bloating, cramping, loose stool, and constipation.

This is why a recent study is important to the millions of people who suffer from this condition. It has shown that a common antibiotic, rifaximin, may be able to ease the symptoms over a long period of time.

Of the 1,200 IBS sufferers in the study (half given rifaximin and half given a placebo three times a day for two weeks), about 40% of those who took the antibiotic reported a significant improvement in their symptoms compared to just over a third of those who took the placebo.

While these findings may seem small, doctors are eager to have a viable option for their patients since there are no good options currently available for the long-term treatment of the condition.

Rifaximin has not yet been approved for the treatment of IBS, but the FDA is currently reviewing it. They expect to have a decision in March. If it is approved, it will be the first antibiotic for the treatment of the condition. It is believed to be a good option because it has been shown to have little bacterial resistance, so it can be used over and over for extended treatment.

What do you think of the possibility that there may be a viable IBS treatment on the horizon? Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and have no good treatment options available to you? Let us know what you think about these topics by commenting, and check out this video on IBS below.